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Empirically, it is not doubtful to associate extreme poverty and perverse inequality to countries with high levels of corruption. Corruption is one of the most destructive impediments to economic and social development. It takes away resources from the common pool and deprives a large population of partaking in the share of the national cake. Despite Ghana’s good governance and democratic credentials, corruption still remains cancerous in our public service and society.
Currently, we can concretely say that corruption in Ghana is not just a mere perception but inherently pervasive in the country as evidenced by the recent exposé in the Judiciary. The problem of corruption is now very worrying as different sources of data (both Transparency International and World Bank) rank Ghana higher in the corruption index compared to other group of developing countries.
We recognize that Ghana as a whole has taken some initiatives to control it. There was even an attempt to develop an action plan between 2001 and 2005 by the Center for Democratic Development (CDD) with sponsorship from the World Bank but it failed. This is because the plan was not owned by Ghanaians since it was believed that the drafters did not consult widely before putting the documents together hence it was rejected by the government.
Again in 2009, there was a national stakeholder round table to examine the strategies adopted to fight corruption since independence to find out why they have not worked. That conference decided on two things; the development of a 10 year plan to survive any regime change and suggested that due to the polarization of corruption in the country Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) (an independent institution) should coordinate the activities of the plan and this explains why CHRAJ invested lots of its resources with support from DANIDA in developing the plan. This eventually led to the development of a National Anti Corruption Action Plan (NACAP) to spearhead the fight against corruption.
The main aim of the NACAP is to ensure that all stakeholders agree to contextualize and mobilize all resources to combat corruption in the country. The implantation of the NACAP has had some impact on the subject matter however due to lack of funds to embark on adequate awareness creation; most people are unaware of the project.
All is not lost as the European Union funded Ghana Anti-Corruption, Rule of Law and Accountability Programme (ARAP) comes to the rescue. Launched in May 2016 in Accra, ARAP is a five year programme of EUR 20 million aimed at supporting the anticorruption, rule of law and accountability programmes.
The objective of the programme is to build the capacity of civic education providers such as the –NCCE, CHRAJ, CSOs, and the media– to conduct campaigns, advocate and lobby for increased accountability and reduce corruption. Secondly, it is aimed at strengthening law enforcement agencies.
To meet its mandate, ARAP in collaboration with CHRAJ and NCCE recently organized a multi stakeholder training workshop on public education for anti-corruption agencies, law enforcement agencies and public education institutions in the country.
The New Independent is of the view that bringing state institutions together to deliberate and collaborate to set the agenda for the appreciation of oneness and presenting a united front towards the fight against corruption is in order. We however encouraged stakeholders to show commitment towards this fight by playing their roles as individuals and also partners to yield the desired results.
Source: The New Independent